Monday, July 12, 2021

Kisah AKU n The Grey Wolf - Queen in the North


Second episode for mini-series The Grey Wolf. For those who missed the first episode, can click this link.

301AC- Six months has passed since the Great Northern Conspiracy which led to the massacre of Stark's family resulted from an act of treachery by a number of great houses of the North. A third quarter of the North has sworn their allegiance to King Joffrey Baratheon while pledged their loyalty to the new Warden of the North, Lord Paramount Roose Bolton. However, there were a few house loyal to the Stark - Mormont, Reed, Glover and Cerwyn continues to offer resistance through guerrilla warfare. Ramsay Bolton stormed the ancestral castle of Cerwyn and flayed Lord Medger. His son, Cley feared the punishment was forced into submission. While the rest left untouched due to geographical factor, Deepwood Motte of House Glover is located deep into the forest of Wolfswood while House Mormont of Bear Island is relatively safe being in the island.

Castle Black is unable to house thousands of Greystark's civilians and troops, instead Lord Jon Snow granted a village of Oldenoak to Fredrik as a gesture of friendship. He quickly instructed the construction of palisade wall, while constructing a jetty to facilitate fishery activities. 

As for Lord Fredrik and Lady Dacey, they are waiting for the birth of their firstborn which conceived five months ago - the heir of House Greystark. 

With Lady Dacey now married with the Greystark's lord, House Mormont is now led by her younger sister, Lady Lyanna Mormont which held the title Lady of Bear Island after the death of their mother at the Red Wedding. The two houses continues to maintain communication, together with House Glover of Deepwood Motte to form alliance of Stark's loyalist and gathering supports from other minor houses such as House Mazin and House Hornwood.

In the Purple Wedding,  King Joffrey Baratheon was assassinated presumably by one of Stark's loyalist, this sparked a chain of incident starting with the death of Prince Oberyn Martell of Dorne which triggered conflict between the Lannister and Dorne, followed by the Lord Tywin's death and ascension of Prince Tommen as the new king. Sansa whom kept captive escaped from the capital with the help of Lord Baelish. 

Two months later, Fredrik who had network of spies across the North received intel from one of the spy based at Winterfell reported that Lady Sansa Stark was being forced to marry Lord Ramsay Bolton, while Rickon Stark killed by Lord Snalljon Umber on his way to Skagos. The fate of Arya and Brandon were unknown. 

To the south, the Royalist force under Ser Jaime Lannister lay siege the city of Riverrun which taken by Riverlord rebels under the command of Lord Brynden "Blackfish" Tully a few months ago. As the city's provision able to withstand two years of siege, Ser Jaime persuaded Lord Edmure Tully whom held captive since Red Wedding to convince his uncle to surrender but failed. The siege goes on. 

Fredrik met Lord Snow at the Castle Black to inform him on the intel. Unable to break his sworn oath with the Night Watch, he asked Fredrik to do what he can to save his siblings. Plus, he is currently dealing with potential Wilding incursion by Mance Ryder.  

By advise of his wife, Fredrik secretly traveled to meet Lady Lyanna Mormont and Lord Galbart Glover at Deepwood Motte to discuss on their next action. In total, the coalition only able to muster 6,000 troops, with additional forces around 1,000 men from House Mazin and Hornwood. Decision has been made as the coalition named Lord Fredrik as the leader of Stark's loyalist. Fredrik believed its now the right time to strike as the Lannister's army is now fighting at Riverland thus unable to send reinforcement to North royalist. Far to the South, the Dorne led by Queen Ellaria amassed her troops at Dorne-Reach frontier. 

The Northern rebels merged at the village of Norrey before March eastward to capture Umber's stronghold at Last Hearth. The rebel did not take much effort to seized the castle as most of its army were away from the region. Some of the mountain clans such as the Harclays, Wull and Norrey also joined forces with Fredrik. During his rule, the late Eddard Stark treat the mountain clans as one of its subject and didn't discriminate their old way of life. Under Bolton's rule, the clansmen were oppressed and forced to pay more taxes. 

With additional 2,000 troops from his mountain clans, Fredrik shift his attention to Karhold, the ancestral seat of House Karstark. Again, the rebels successfully secured the castle with minimal resistance as the occupants mostly loyal to House Stark. 

After leaving a sizable garrison, Lord Fredrik's army around 7,000 men turned southward and reached Winterfell on 302 AC. The army quickly setup camp near Winterfell, preparing to retake the capital in the name of House Stark. A rough headcount of 12,000 men from House Bolton, Umber, Karstark and Dustin is assembling under the overall command of Lord Roose Bolton. 

The two armies met at the open field near Winterfell. A battle proven commander, Fredrik line his Greystark troops at the center while his left flank is protected by a contingent of Glover and Mormont soldiers led by Lord Galbatt Glover. 

The right flank is led by Chief Brandon Norrey whom take command of the mountain clansmen. In his reserve, 1,000 troopers from House Mazin and House Hornwood. At the opposite side, Lord Roose Bolton who is also known for his cunning at the field of battle draw his troops - Bolton's soldier at the center, Karstark's on his right, Lord Jon Umber's army at the left flank and Dustin's army at his rear. Lord Wyman Manderly however failed to reach the battle on time and might not get involved. Despite that, the North royalist still outnumbered the rebels 2 to 1.

5pm - In the opening move of the battle, Lord Roose ordered Lord Umber to attack the mountain clansmen at Fredrik's right. The infantry attack mostly participated by the fearsome Umber berserker almost break the line but the clansmen fight ferociously and managed to maintain the cohesion. 

Fredrik led a counter attack against Lord Umber's position with a swift cavalry charge which managed to temporarily rout the North royalist before retreating back to his line with only little casualties. Lord Roose is yet to deploy his famous Bolton's phalanx, perhaps he is waiting a perfect time for it. But with the rebels flank is still firmly held the line, he can't commit the maneuver. 

7pm - The Bolton's commander executes another pincer strike against both of Fredrik's flank with intention to reduce its cohesion before his frontal attack. He commit his reserve troops under Lord Hornwood to reinforced the wavering left. Lady Lyanna and her Mormont's troops fight gallantly but sheer number of Karstark's infantry start to overwhelm her position. Chief Norrey was killed during the battle after Lord Bolton unleashed his mercenary cavalry to finish off the faltering rebel. Norrey's death demoralized his clansmen which in turn, routed and fled the battlefield. Lord Mazin was being instruct to plug the gap left by the Harclays. 

At 4pm, Lord Roose with his 4,000 Bolton's spearman advanced forward to strike the rebel's center, currently manned by the Greystark under Bronson Snow. 

Heavy fighting between the former brethren when the Bolton smash the Greystark's defensive line. Being trained in the art of battle since their childhood, the Greystark fight valiantly to absorb the attack. 

Fredrik's left flank is in the verge of collapse after the clansmen fled the battlefield, he ordered Lord Mazin to feigned retreat and form a shield wall behind the Greystark. Fredrik plan to strike and envelope the royalist. It need to start somewhere, he deduced by shifting the weaker flank to the other side. He can create the assumption that the rebel is routing. Once the Bolton's 'surround' the Greystark, he will draw his final card. 

As expected, Glover's army pushed back the Karstark and gradually press the attack from the right wing. However, Mazin's shield wall start to break due to heavy pressing by Lord Bolton's infantry. 

At this crucial juncture, Lord Fredrik smash the overextended Bolton's flank with a strong cavalry charges supported by a few hundred clansmen who rallied under Chief Hugo Wull. This surprise attack managed to wreck havoc to the enemy. Despite that, the trained Bolton infantry held their ground while offering heavy resistance. As the gap closing, the survivor start to panicked and trapped with little chances to escape. 

The Northern royalist suffered 8,000 dead or wounded including Lord Harald Karstark and Lord Smalljon Umber and 4,000 captured in the Battle of Winterfell. Lord Roose however managed to retreat southward to regroup with the Manderly. Such important victory came with a heavy price as the rebel army lost 4,000 soldiers which is half of its initial strength.

Lord Fredrik Greystark entered Winterfell and met Sansa, the surviving heir of House Stark. Witnessed by lords and ladies of  House Glover, Mormont, Mazin and Hornwood, Fredrik proclaimed Sansa as the Queen in the North. 

The rebellion is not over yet, there's still a few Royalist stronghold to capture, and one sizable army under Lord Wylis Manderly. The rebel army starts to regained strength with additional 2,000 men from House Reed, Cerwyn and Talhart who also pledged their fealty to Sansa Stark. 

The army split near Wolf's Den, Lord Fredrik's army with a total of 5,000 men advances eastward to chase to capture the Dreadfort, ancestral seat of House Bolton, while another 3,000 soldiers under Lord Galbatt Glover moves eastward to chase Lord Manderly.

The veteran North commander led the vanguard against the Dreadfort wall, fighting shoulder to shoulder with his countrymen while showcase an exemplary bravery to boost the morale of his soldiers.

Heavy fighting occurred in the castle compound as Fredrik's army overwhelmed the Bolton's defender. A rally organized by Lord Ramsay Bolton failed to make significant impact as the Lord of Wolf's Den killed the young Lord Bolton in a one-sided swords duel. 

At the end of battle, the Northern rebel emerged victorious and totally wiped out the defender. Almost 3,000 Bolton's soldiers were killed and another 2,000 captured.

The last remnant of the North royalist was being crushed, followed by subsequent peaceful surrender of Barrowtown and White Harbor at the end of 302 AC. Lord Roose's luck was not in his side this time as he was captured by Fredrik's patrol en route to Ramsgate. By royal decree, Fredrik executed the traitorous Lord of the Dreadfort and effectively end the Starks's rebellion. 

To secure the border, Fredrik fortified the crannog of Greywater Watch to thwart any potential incursion from the South. He sent raven to his sister, Lady Sharra with the news of successful rebellion and instruct her to bring their people back to Wolf's Den. Another raven sent to Lord Commander Jon Snow and to Queen Sansa to report them on the rebel's victory. 

With House Stark restored into the power, the War of the Five Kingdoms resumed. Lord Fredrik decided to take defensive approach by protecting the Neck instead of advance further south to relieve Riverland from the Lannister's army. 

Two weeks later, Queen Sansa summoned him to Winterfell to discuss the prospect of alliance with Queen Daenerys Targaryen. The council agreed to send delegation to negotiate with the dragon queen. What will happened next? 

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